Top 10 Biggest Lies Ever Told In History

History teaches us so many valuable lessons. However, the most important one is that deceit has hel...

History teaches us so many valuable lessons. However, the most important one is that deceit has helped people acheive goals that they wouldnt have otherwise. People have manipulated societies with their lies and deceits resulting in earning power, fame and money at the price of loss of lives.
What follows is a mere summary of some of the biggest lies told in history whose impact far exceeds than what one might have imagined. These lies are diverse in nature and have affected not just politics but science and art too.

10. The Trojan Horse

 Most of us have seen ‘Troy’. Greeks defeated Trojans via a scheme that was brilliant and quite effective. A peace offering was made to Trojans in the form of a gigantic wooden horse. Trojans were unaware of the fact that wooden horse’s belly was hollow and had Greek soldiers within it. The Greeks infiltrated fortified city under the disguise of peace offering and later on became victorious. The victory came as a relief for greeks since the war had been going on for ten long years. This incident has a paramount importance in history and serves as an example to be wary of enemies bearing gifts.

9. Han van Meegeren’s Vermeer Forgeries
Han van Meegeren, in the early 20th century exploited the religious scholars by capitalizing on the controversy regarding  paintings of Biblical scenes. The topic of discussion was the question that whether Vermeer really painted a certain series of paintings that portrayed biblical scenes. Han van Meegeren was not appreciated enough and this became the driving factor for him and he decided to express his skills by tricking the art community. Van Meegeren created fake painting of ‘The Disciples at Emmaus’. Skillful, as he was, he managed to pull it off and the painting was certified to be authentic. The talented artist went on to make a number of these paintings and became quite famous indeed. This lie was unveiled when later on Han van Meegeren was charged with selling a ‘National Treasure’ to Nazis and had to paint another one in presence of authorities to prove that he has been making fakes all this time and no National Treasure had been lost.

8.Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi Scheme

Ever heard of Ponzi scheme? Simply put; you keep a fraction of money investors invest in your company and instead of investing it, you pay off earlier investors via the new funds. Its an ingenious scheme that can work for sometime as long as you keep getting more and more new investors. This is where Mr. Bernie Madoff comes in. He managed to con about $50 billion from investors by using this Ponzi scheme. You’d be surprised to know that he managed to keep up this lie for more than a decade. Invented by Charles Ponzi in the early 20th century, the genius Bernie took it to a new level. The next piece of information might come as a shock; Mr. Bernie Madoff was a former chairman of NASDAQ and was a respected expert of the financial field. Maybe that is the reason why he was able to get so many investors and keep this scam up for years!

7. Anna Anderson, Alias Anastasia

Russian Revolution resulted in extinction of Royal family in Russia. In 1918 the execution of royal Romanov family was carried out resulting in the killing of Czar Nicholas II along with his wife and children. The whole practice was carried out to prevent any uprising later on via public support. As with such cases, soon there was news of some survivors who had survived this massacre. Among many cases that surfaced, Anna Anderson was the most peculiar one. She gained quite a fame due to the fact that she did resemble one of the daughters that were killed; Princess Anastasia and because she had a remarkable knowledge of family and life at court. Most of the relatives did not believe this miraculous survivor’s story. After seven years of surfacing of Miss Anna, an old roommate of Anna confirmed that her real name is Franziska Schanzkowska. Although she lost her case to earn the royal inheritance, our ‘Princess Anastasia’ remained faithful to her story until she passed away in 1984. Investigations kept going and finally in 2009 experts confirmed that no one escaped the massacre in 1918.

6.Titus Oates and the Plot to Kill Charles II

 Next up we have Titus Oates. The man was known for his deceptive nature and had been expelled from a number of schools in England. His biggest achievement is the panic he created by spreading the lie that Catholics planned to murder King Charles II and replace him with his Catholic brother James. This resulted in execution of almost 35 people and fueled anti-Catholic feelings. Mr. Titus Oates even faked his conversion and gained valuable information which he later on used to bring havoc. He got free during the Glorious revolution in 1688.

5. Piltdown Man
The evolution of humans has been a hot topic for quite some time. In 1910, Archaeologist Charles Dawson unearthed one of the most famous hoaxes in history. He discovered the Piltdown man in Sussex, England. This famous ‘discovery’ was brought to an experienced paleontologist Arthur Smith Woodward who kept persuading people of its authenticity till he passed away. Later on, however, the story was unveiled and it was known as a fact that the Piltdown man was a hoax and it didn’t fit anywhere in human evolution. In fact, the skull found was only 600 years old and had been tampered with by someone who had knowledge of such work. Evidences later on pointed towards a museum volunteer by the name of Martin A.C. to be the artist of this hoax. Still, the science world was definitely made a fool by this Piltdown man discovery.

4. The Dreyfus Affair

This particular scandal resulted in a 12 year controversy, political reforms, riots and what not! A Jewish officer in French army was accused of treachery; selling military secrets to Germans in the late 19th century. Alfred Dreyfus, after his trial was sentenced to life imprisonment. Later on, suspicions arose indicating that he had been framed. Upon suppression of these rumors a novelist by the name of Emile Zola accused the army of covering up. The scandal resulted in division of folks into Dreyfusards and Anti-Dreyfusards. The battle of principles raged on for 12 years. Finally Maj. Hubert Joseph Henry committed suicide after accepting that he was the culprit and the case was re-opened only to find out that the Jewish officer was guilty. A civilian court, later on, set him free and he carried on with his Military career.

3. Clinton/Lewinsky Affair

Bill Clinton, The President of United States, publicly denied the allegations of having an affair with a White House Intern. However, his problems had just started. Bill was sued for sexual harassment and lawyers set out to uncover the truth. They found Linda Tripp and guess who used to confide in Linda? Monica Lewinsky, the same lady that Bill had denied of having any affair. Not just denied, but denied under oath. Linda Tripp had recorded calls of Monica which were related to her affair with Bill Clinton. This scandal roared its way into the media and became quite famous. Prosecutor Kenneth Starr made Bill Clinton admit to the relationship. Senate acquitted him of charges and Bill maintained quite a high approval rating.

2. Watergate

President Richard Nixon in front almost four hundred Associated Press editors gave his famous line; ‘I am not a crook’. The lie came back to him later on and resulted in Nixon giving his resignation and ultimately letting Jimmy Carter become the President. The matter was pertaining 5 men who broke into the Watergate Hotel. It was hypothesized that the burglars were ordered to wiretap the phones there. The investigation soon turned into a question whether Mr. President knew, ordered or tried covering up this act. Later, it was revealed that White House conversations had been recorded and Nixon refused to give up his tapes until Supreme Court ordered him to do so. This new evidence implicated Nixon in the covering up of this particular act. America’s politics were scarred badly because of this.

1. The Big Lie: Nazi Propaganda

Adolf Hitler came up with the ‘Final solution’ which was to simply execute all Jews on the face of planet Earth. He convinced people of Germany that Jews were their enemies by spreading lies about Jews. He blamed Jews for all problems of the German nation and even came up with the lie about ritual killing of Christian children by Jews. This resulted in the creation of ‘The Big Lie’. Supposedly, People believe what they are told again and again and also if a lie is big enough, not many will reject it. Infact, the bigger the lie the higher is the chance of people accepting it. This theory can prove helpful if you are interested in uncovering more lies that have been told throughout the history.



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